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Wheat Mar '24 (ZWH24)
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Contract Specifications for [[ item.sessionDateDisplayLong ]]
Barchart Symbol ZW
Exchange Symbol ZW
Contract Chicago Soft Red Winter Wheat
Exchange CBOT
Tick Size 1/4 cent per bushel ($12.50 per contract)
Margin/Maintenance $3,080/2,800
Daily Limit 50 cents per bushel ($2,500 per contract) Expanded limit 75 cents
Contract Size 5,000 bushels
Months Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Dec (H, K, N, U, Z)
Trading Hours 7:00p.m. - 7:45a.m. and 8:30a.m. - 1:20p.m. (Settles 1:15p.m.) (Sun-Fri) CST
Value of One Futures Unit $50
Value of One Options Unit $50
Last Trading Day The business day prior to the 15th calendar day of the contract month

Description

Wheat is a cereal grass. Wheat was a wild grass before humans started to cultivate it for larger-scale food production. It has been grown in temperate regions and cultivated for food since prehistoric times. Wheat is believed to have originated in southwestern Asia. Archeological research indicates that wheat was grown as a crop in the Nile Valley about 5,000 BC. Wheat is not native to the U.S. and was first grown here in 1602 near the Massachusetts coast. The common types of wheat grown in the U.S. are spring and winter wheat. Wheat planted in the spring for summer or autumn harvest is mostly red wheat. Wheat planted in the fall or winter for spring harvest is mostly white wheat. Winter wheat accounts for nearly three-fourths of total U.S. production. Wheat is used mainly for human consumption and supplies about 20% of the food calories for the world's population. The primary use for wheat is flour, but it is also used for brewing and distilling, and for making oil, gluten, straw for livestock bedding, livestock feed, hay or silage, newsprint, and other products.

Wheat futures and options are traded at the CME Group, the Mercado a Termino de Buenos Aires (MAT), Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE), Marche a Terme International de France (MATIF), Budapest Commodity Exchange (BCE), the Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT), and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGE). The CME's wheat futures contract calls for the delivery of soft red wheat (No. 1 and 2), hard red winter wheat (No. 1 and 2), dark northern spring wheat (No. 1 and 2), No.1 northern spring at 3 cents/bushel premium, or No. 2 northern spring at par.

Prices - CME wheat futures prices (Barchart.com symbol ZW) surged in early 2022 to a record high of $14.25 per bushel in March 2022. Wheat prices soared after Russia invaded Ukraine, and wheat exports from both countries were sharply reduced. The war closed major Black Sea ports in Ukraine, and the subsequent sanctions against Russia reduced demand for its wheat exports. Ukraine and Russia together account for a quarter of the global wheat trade. Wheat prices also garnered support from drought concerns in the Great Plains that parched the U.S. 2022 winter wheat crop, which was the smallest since 1963. In addition, the USDA in its May WASDE reported that 2022/23 global wheat ending stocks fell to a 6-year low of 267 MMT. Wheat prices remained above $10 per bushel into June after India, the world's second-largest wheat producer said it was banning wheat exports to ensure adequate domestic supplies. Wheat prices retreated below $10 per bushel into Q3 2022 and posted a 1-year low of $7.26 per bushel in August after Turkey brokered a plan with Russia to allow Ukraine to resume wheat exports at several of its Black Sea ports. Also, a rally in the dollar index to a 20-year high in September made U.S. wheat supplies less competitive in the global market. In the October WASDE report, the USDA cut its U.S. 2022/23 wheat export estimate to 775 million bushels, the lowest in 50 years. Wheat prices rebounded into October as Russia intensified its war in Ukraine, stoking fears it would not extend a Ukraine export deal. However, wheat prices dropped to a 1-year low of $7.03 per bushel in December after the Russia-Ukraine export agreement allowing safe passage of grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports was extended. Wheat prices recovered into year-end after a record cold snap in the U.S. threatened the U.S. winter wheat crop. Wheat prices finished 2022 up +2.7% yr/yr at $7.92 per bushel.

Supply - World wheat production in the 2022/23 marketing year is forecasted to rise by +0.3% yr/yr to 781.312 million metric tons, a new record high. The world's largest wheat producers in 2022/23 are expected to be China with 17.6% of world production, the European Union with 17.2%, India with 13.2%, Russia with 11.6%, and the U.S. with 5.7%. China's wheat production in 2022/23 is expected to rise by +0.6% yr/yr to a record 137.723 million metric tons. India's wheat production in 2022/23 is expected to fall by -6.0% yr/yr to 103.00 million metric tons. The world land area harvested with wheat in 2022/23 is expected to fall -1.0% yr/yr to 220.0 million hectares (1 hectare equals 10,000 square meters or 2.471 acres). The world wheat yield in 2022/23 is expected to rise by +1.1% yr/yr to 3.55 million metric tons, forecasted to be a record high from the 2019/29 high record of 3.53 million metric tons.

U.S. wheat production in 2022/23 is expected to rise by +0.2% yr/yr to 1.649 billion bushels. The U.S. winter wheat crop in 2022 fell by -13.6% yr/yr to 1.103 billion bushels, which was well below the record winter wheat crop of 2.097 billion bushels seen in 1981. U.S. production of durum wheat in 2022 rose by +1599.9% yr/yr to 639.981 million bushels. U.S. production of other spring wheat in 2022 rose by +45.7% yr/yr to 482.190 million bushels. The largest U.S. producing states of winter wheat in 2022 was Kansas with 22.1% of U.S. production, Washington with 11.1%, Oklahoma with 6.2%, Idaho with 5.8%, and Montana with 5.4%. U.S. farmers planted 45.738 million acres of wheat in 2022, down by -2.1% yr/yr. The U.S. wheat yield in 2022/23 is expected to be up by +5.0% yr/yr at 46.5 bushels per acre.

Demand - World wheat utilization in 2022/23 is forecasted to fall by -0.3% yr/yr to 789.7 million metric tons, falling below the record high of 792.5 million metric tons in 2021/22. U.S. consumption of wheat in 2022/23 is expected to fall by -0.7% yr/yr to 1.118 billion bushels, which would be below the 2012/13 record high of 1.389 billion bushels. The wheat usage breakdown in 2022/23 is expected to be 86.8% for food, 7.2% for feed and residuals, and 6.1% for seed.

Trade - World trade in wheat in 2022/23 is expected to rise by +4.5% yr/yr to a record 211.6 million metric tons. U.S. exports of wheat in 2022/23 are expected to rise by +3.1% yr/yr to 825.0 million bushels. U.S. imports of wheat in 2022/23 are expected to rise by +15.5% yr/yr to 110.0 million bushels.

Information on commodities is courtesy of the CRB Yearbook, the single most comprehensive source of commodity and futures market information available. Its sources - reports from governments, private industries, and trade and industrial associations - are authoritative, and its historical scope for commodities information is second to none. The CRB Yearbook is part of the Barchart product line. Please visit us for all of your commodity data needs.

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